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Specialty Group

Photographic Materials

Platinum and Palladium Photographs: Technical History, Connoisseurship, and Conservation

Coming Soon! The Ph
otographic Materials Group of AIC is proud to announce advance sales of this book.  This volume is made possible through the generous support of The Irving Penn Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Samuel Kress Foundation, and the extraordinary efforts of its extra volunteer authors.  Edited by Constance McCabe, the
volume presents the results of a four-year interinstitutional, interdisciplinary research initiative led and organized by the National Gallery of Art.  Contributions by forty-seven leading photograph conservators, scientists, and historians provide detailed examinations of the chemical, material, and aesthetic qualities of this important class of rare, beautiful, and technically complex photographs.  The volume will help those who care for photograph collections gain a thorough appreciation of the technical and aesthetic characteristics of platinum and palladium prints and scientific basis for their preservation.  

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Coatings on Photographs: Materials, Techniques, and Conservation

Edited by Constance McCabe, this book is published and distributed by the Photographic Materials Group of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works, and was made possible by the generous support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, and the National Gallery of Art. Topics include Conservation and Analysis, Materials and Practice, and Case Studies. Foreward by Roger Taylor, Professor of Photographic History, De Montfort University, Leicester, England.

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Topics in Photographic Preservation

Topics in Photographic Preservation is a biannual publication of the Photographic Materials Group (PMG) of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC). It provides a means for the informal exchange of information, experiences and techniques relating to photographic science, conservation and collections care. Unlike the JAIC, whose contributors are required to submit to rigorous editorial and peer review, Topics in Photographic Preservation will print all reasonable submissions from the membership without editorial intervention. Topics articles from 1986 through 2011 are now available online.

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Photographic Print Sample Sets

Set 1 (Historic)

Until now, it has been difficult to find photographic prints made from the same negative but in different processes that allow one to compare – “ apples-to-apples” – the similarities and differences of various processes. These prints provide the opportunity to examine the general features and compare detailed characteristics of different processes: the single-layer structures of the cyanotype and salted paper print; the two layers of the albumen print; and the three layers found in the glossy and matte gelatin prints. Using magnification, the same details in each type of print may be compared, clearly revealing the tell-tale traits of the various print layer structures.

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Set 2 (Digital)

The Digital Sample Set, compiled by the Mellon Collaborative Workshops in Photograph Conservation, consists of 25 digital and traditional print samples all made from digital files. Useful as a research tool or for educational purposes, this binder of prints is being offered for sale as long as supplies last. Subsidized by generous funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, some of the print types included are extinct, and others are rare or expensive within the mainstream use of the media. 

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Set 3 (Gelatin)

Papers used to develop this set include vintage stock from the Library and Archives Canada (LAC), Canadian Conservation Institute (CCI) and National Gallery of Art, Washington. The sets include 4 samples for each available paper type, 1 printed and processed, 1 printed, processed and toned with selenium (Kodak Rapid Selenium Toner), 1 printed, processed and toned with a sulfur toner (Kodak Sepia Toner) and one fixed only (white) sheet. Pertinent information regarding processing and toning will accompany the samples.  Currently 8 different paper types are available and have been printed and processed. 

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Photographic Information Record

The Photographic Information Record (PIR), was created as an “international standard” for an artist’s questionnaire form. The hope is that this form will be adopted by institutions internationally and will eventually be used by artists and galleries as a matter of course.

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Caring for Your Photographs: An AIC Published Guide

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Conservation Catalog

The purpose of the Photographic Materials Conservation Catalog is to compile a catalog of conservation treatment procedures and information pertinent to the preservation and exhibition of photographic materials. Although the catalog will inventory techniques used by photographic conservators through the process of compiling outlines, the catalog is not intended to establish definitive procedures nor to provide step-by-step recipes for the untrained. The catalog is written by conservators for conservators, as an aid to decision making. 

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